With the nomination round behind us, voting in the Empire-Tribune’s annual Best of Erath County contest begins Saturday. 

And now we are revealing nominees in the Person of the Year category.

Brady Pendleton, Dereece Howell, JJ Hampton, Julie Crouch-Smith, July Danley, Matt Coates, Nicole Young and Sheila Williams have all been nominated for the prestigious honor.

The top three will move into the final round when voting ends April 28.

Mayor Kenny Weldon was named Person of the Year in 2017.

Winners in all of the categories, including several new ones like Teacher of the Year and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, will be named during the Best of Erath gala on Saturday, June 9, at Twisted J Live. 

The affair will include dinner catered by Greer’s Ranch Cafe, cocktails and entertainment by Courtney Patton and Cottonwood Crows.

This year the E-T is bringing in Miss Texas to announce the winners. 

“Last year’s sold-out event was wonderful, but we have made a few changes to make this year’s gala even more enjoyable,” said Publisher Clarice Touhey. “We are moving the event indoors - to the newest venue in Stephenville - Twisted J Live, and we couldn’t be more excited. We have hired Phil Greer to do the catering and have fantastic entertainment lined up. It will definitely be a night to remember.”

A magazine that includes the winners in each category and photos from the awards gala will be published on July 22.

You can begin voting in the Best of Erath contest at yourstephenvilletx.com/bestoferath. You can vote once per day, per category.

For questions about the Best of Erath contest call 254-965-3124.